CARBS!!!

 

 

 

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I have been trying to figure a way to get this scale to move! I know a lot is due to my lack of portion control. I wouldn’t eat a chocolate cake or order pizza if my life depended on it. Well, actually my life DOES depend on it. But I am pretty sure a lot of my problem is all the carbs I am eating. I’m staying within my calorie budget most days. But more than 50% of my calories are carbs.  I must get control of this. I could live on carbs alone, mostly grains. White flour! I have not made a decision yet, nor have I spoke in detail about this with my sponsor, but I must do that this week.

I remember years ago reading that the best way to find out if you are an alcoholic is to just stop drinking for a period of time. If the thought of never having another drink, or finding yourself white knuckling it when you do try to stop, you might have a problem.

I am a food addict, no doubt about that. Giving up sugar was easy. The thought of never eating cake again does not scare me. I can live forever without another candy bar. But the thought of giving up pasta and bread forever almost makes me want to cry. This alone is a pretty good sign that I need to get a handle on my trigger food. Namely white flour. I am not so sure about whole wheat, and other grains, I have a tendency to go overboard on substitutes. So I may have to put some boundaries on all grains. I need to do some deep soul searching regarding  this decision. I’ll keep you posted.

Another thing I need to address is exercise. It’s almost a comedy when I speak of my plans to go to the Y and sign up. I haven’t yet, and I have used every excuse known to man avoiding it. Yes it is expensive, yes, they want all financial paperwork and my first born child to see if I qualify for a discount based on my income. I have run out of excuses, I now have all the paper work needed, and Thanksgiving is over so I have no more excuses. I will get to the Y this week.

I don’t know why I hate exercise so much. I always have. The only thing I ever did consistently was those videos of Richard Simmons and walking at the mall. In order to increase my mobility and strengthen muscles that have not been in use for years will require some pain, sweat and moments of becoming breathless. It’s the breathless part that I hate the most. Just walking from my car to the front door of the Y is exhausting for me. I am extremely embarrassed about that. I feel so much shame when people see me struggling to breath just because I walked 40 or 50 feet. But I must, so I will. I pray I can meet someone or have a friend that will do this with me. It would make it so much better. I am so tired of doing every little thing in my life alone.

It has been a tough week. I think I have cried more this week than the entire year. Although I had two invitations to spend Thanksgiving with friends, I declined. I just didn’t want to deal with the food. And honestly, seeing others with their happy families and knowing I don’t have anyone that loves me like family makes it worse sometimes. How did I ever get in this situation? I’ll tell you how, one little bad choice after another, over time. How will I get out of this situation? One little good choice after another at a time.

I entertained the thought of just giving up this week. I was losing faith in myself. I wondered if I was just a dreamer to believe I could lose this much weight and become independent and self sufficient at my age once again. But what choice do I have? And wouldn’t it be a shame to stop now? These are the pivotal moments in our lives. Every great moment or big accomplishment at one point or another comes to this very crossroad.

So here I am, 155 pounds lost, and at least that many more pounds to go. I’m at that place when I am almost at the top of that mountain, but not high enough to see the view quite yet. Hang with me folks. It is still a bumpy ride, but I’m here for the long haul.

A Grateful Heart

 

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What’s your plans for Thanksgiving? Have you given any thought how you are going to handle all that food around? We need to think about it and set boundaries, or we will fall into a free for all. It’s just not worth it to feel so bad and sick the next day. Thanksgiving is really not about the food.

I won’t be doing anything special. As some of you know I do not have any family. Before you start, DON’T FEEL SORRY FOR ME! That’s not why I am bring this up. Yes, I am sure part of the day I will reflect back on being with my loved ones, eating off my Mom’s fancy china, and my Dad’s afternoon nap on his green lazy boy with the newspaper over his face. The smell of that turkey roasting, and the anticipation of the arrival of our loved ones.  I do miss days gone by, but they are never coming back. Wallowing in your past can be a miserable place to get stuck in. Trust me, I know.

A couple of years ago when I was at my highest weight and bing eating, I wallowed in self pity over this. Before I go further, I did get an invite to go to a friends home and even spend the night, but declined. I have a little dog to think about, and as wonderful and sweet and thoughtful the invite was, it does not help the longing I have in my heart to be loved and have family. I have come to terms with the fact that I do not have a family that loves me.  I mean the kind of love that you know you are in the front burner of that person’s life. Not necessarily romantic love, but family love.

I use to seek desperately to be loved. I’d latch onto anyone who was nice to me, and have way to high expctations  about what that friendship should be. And let’s be honest here, we all fail each other at some time or another, But When a friend let me down, I became the victim, and became devastated, and after that, the bitterness sets in. Bitterness is the worst place to get stuck in. To be totally honest here, I use to suck the life out of my friendships and scared a lot of people off. I didn’t see that at all until recently. The 12 steps of recovery has you take a deep look at your character flaws, and make peace with your transgressions. If you can be brave enough to dig deep, this can bring a peace to your life that you never experienced.

I’ll be OK, I am confident in the love my God has for me, (I am pretty sure I’m His favorite) and who knows, maybe someday I will have family. Maybe not the traditional kind, but family comes in many different packages. Either way, God’s has me in the palm of His hand. Meanwhile, I have some amazing friends who stuck by me in my ugliest moments, and have my back as well. I have several people who would drop, and run to me if I ever had a crisis.

My church has a program called “Manna”. Once a month they give a box of food to people who are struggling financially. It is humbling to admit it, but I am one of the people they feed. I have been terribly hard on my church and the leadership. I complain about how I dislike the concert style worship. I feel left out a lot and wonder if the paster even knows my name. But I have to own my part, I rarely attend. People can’t get to know you if you are not there. But today, when I went to get my box of food, they asked me if I wanted a ham or turkey. I choose the ham. I can live an entire month off one ham. On the way there, I started to cry uncontrollably. I have no idea why exactly. Maybe because in-spite of my whining, and mishap attendance, they give. That is such a perfect example of God’s love for us. We complain when He does not run to our aid when we think He should. But ALWAYS, he gives, just in time. I don’t want to leave my church because it is the only link I have left to family. There are a handful of folks I have known since I was a child. And that is the church I got married in, and the funerals for my parents and husband was there. It has been my anchor. I weep when I write about this kind of love. I get so much more than I deserve. We all do.

My favorite quote is by Brennan Manning;

God loves us as we are; not as we should be, because we are never as we should be. 

 

GO HUSKERS!

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It’s Football day here in Nebraska! Now I am not a big football fan, in fact I barely know what is going on down there on that field, other than when I see a touchdown. But, I love Nebraska! I was born and raised here. My father was the Highway Superintendent of the Nebraska Department of Roads. My Mom grew up on a small farm in Nebraska. So this beautiful state has also put food on my parents table when I was a kid.

I have a few really REALLY cool things to share with you. Sean Anderson with whom I co-facilitate this really awesome weight loss group with, called “Another Weigh” are proud to present a 4 week speaker series for the month of December. All of it is via the telephone, so is all you have to do is listen. You won’t want to miss it! This could be life changing! 

We have 4 dynamic Speakers, Winifred Morice. My dear friend and Nutritionist, writer, actor, and who knows what else ( I know she lays tile too! ) She worked for Richard Simmons for years developing Deal-a-meal, writing cookbooks and consulting with Richard about food and nutrician. Dr Marty Learner, a renowned Clinical Psychologist who specializes in eating disorders and recovery. He has been on many TV and News shows spreading hope around to the hopeless. img_9619-copyCoach Gerri Helms Certified Master Coach, and author of  Trust God Buy Broccoli .   Coach Gerri has lost over 100 pounds and kept it off 20 years. Also we have Cindyellen Robinson who is a retired nutritional Counselor who has spent 20 years treating eating disorders and addictions. This is an amazing line up of experts in weight loss and recovery. The price for the month is $60, which is a steal. It is rare to get to hear these dynamic people speak and share their plethora of wisdom and experience. 

Here is more information on our series, and a link to sign up. December Speakers Series   screen-shot-2016-11-12-at-11-14-57-am I am thrilled to share this with you, and I truly hope you sign up. It may be the very catalyst to your good health in 2017. Wouldn’t that be a great Christmas gift to give yourself? 

The next thing on my agenda, is a wonderful food sheet I created for you. You can get it on Ebay for a minimal price of $5 and once you download it you can print off as many copies as you want. screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-9-55-47-pmLink to Food Sheet  It is a beautiful tool to keep track and in check on your road to good health. This can be put in a standard binder for a record of your progress, and reference.

One last thing. And this is hard to post. I have not been honest with you. A few weeks ago I stepped on the scale and was up 2 pounds. This was so devastating to me that I told NO ONE! It is hard to lose weight and be a role model at the same time. When I fail, I feel that I am failing everyone that believes in me.  I have lost the 2 pounds gained, of which I am grateful. I have been in close contact with my support people, and have created  strategy with my Sponsor to refine my food plan. But honestly, what I need is to exercise. So I am committed to go to the Y and sign up this coming week. I am book ending it here to be accountable. Honestly, I hate exercise. In fact, I hate it so much I would rather eat less, and you all know how I love food. But this is about much more than food and weight loss. This is a journey to better health. So I continue moving forward. Thanks aways for your support. I want to encourage you to sign up for the speaker series. I truly believe this could be life changing. Stay strong Everyone and GO HUSKERS!

 

Second Chances

 

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I have not weighed since my last post because my house is in the process of getting some new flooring and I couldn’t use my scale on weight day. So I will be weighing next Tuesday, now that I have it back in use. There are 2 kinds of people who weight themselves. Those who are obsessive and weight too much, and then there are those like me, who avoid the scale and have to have a regular time each week to stay on task and stay out of denial.

I have been very diligent at weighing and measuring my food. It still shocks me how small a level tablespoon of peanut butter really is. One level tablespoon of peanut butter is around 95 calories. My all time favorite breakfast WAS a big bagel from Panara’s, toasted, smeared with about 2 tablespoons peanut butter on each half and a sliced ripe banana on top open faced. For a very long time I justified this to be around 500 calories, but in reality is was as much as 900 calories sometimes more! Being on a 1600 calorie diet, that left me with around 700 calories for the rest of  the day! Denial is very bad for our health. I am now trying to lower my morning carbs and increase the protein. I believe I will always be refining my food plan.

As I said earlier, I am getting some flooring installed in my house, after 2 years of my house being in total disarray from a remodeling job that the carpenter never finished. I ran out of money, he left, and never to be seen again. Lesson learned? Never write a check until the job is finished, and make very sure he keeps his word about the budget. it was a lot of money that I mis-managed.  I am not saying I am the victim here. I was not taking very good care of any part of my life back then. I was 537 pounds, extremely depressed, and my head was in a deep fog. I owned my part, quit being the victim long ago, and use it as a lesson learned.

So a new floor, and getting a door on my bathroom is a big deal to me. I hope in time I can get the rest done like the pantry shelves built so I have a place to store food, trim put back up, a bedroom and basement door and rail so it’s safe to walk down the steps. It was pretty unsafe for a long time for someone my size to maneuver herself around this house. But I am so grateful for a home, and for my friends who are helping me get this done. I am mostly looking forward to entertaining once again and having friend over for Dinner.

I have had a mouse problem ever since that 2 years old construction as well. I am grateful for my friend Loren being willing to come over and help me with it. He is the best pest control guy in the area and has been very helpful. If you need an honest pest control guy, please contact me for his contact number. I would love to shoot some business his way. It has been hard to find the places these little devils are coming in at. So Loren has been here several times. I am still not sure we found the entry point.

Getting back into life has been an adjustment in many ways. I am managing my life once again, which involves some stress. But I will take the added stress in exchange for getting my life back. I believe as I continue on my road to health, the drama will lesson and I will not get so rattled at any bumps in the road. I have to admit I have been a bit of a drama queen. I was so use to being disabled, that some of the things I can now do, I fear doing. It’s hard to explain, but when you stop living your life, and become isolated and seclusive, you lose confidence in yourself and fear sets in. Fear is much more of an enemy that my incapabilities. And honestly, you unintentionally build an army of enablers around you. People who love you and feel so bad about your disability, they do too much for you. With the best intentions, of course. Then you become dependent on them. I am very shameful to admit, I also became a manipulator. Something I did not see until I started working the 12 steps of recovery. It is a delicate balance. I now pray for God to give me the courage and willingness to try, myself first, and he always does. I still need my friends help with some stuff, but I try to do it myself first, or find a way to earn it. What usually happens is your “neediness” becomes exhausting to most of your friends, and they slowly vanish. I am fully aware there are those who loved me, yet lost respect for me while I was wallowing in self pity. This is on of the things I feel the most shame about. I have had to make a lot of amends. Probably more down the road. It was all driven by fear more than greed. But it’s still wrong.

I love some of Maya Angelou’s quotes,  but there is one quote she has that I do not agree with….”When people show you who they are the first time, believe them.” I believe in second chances, I am grateful for those who believed I could change and supported me. I am grateful for God’s grace. People can change. My friend Juli, who is the VP of the local community College, says she loved her job because she gets to help people who are getting second chances. That does not mean we should not be smart and cautious, or a doormat. It just means we should not slam the door shut. The recovery world and many Community Colleges  are full of those who got another chance and changed. Becoming productive and independent people. Never give up on anyone. Set boundaries, yes, but don’t ever give up on yourself or someone you love.

 

Peeling Layers

It’s been 4 weeks since that scale has moved. I’m not full of fluid, I am not “gaining muscle” (those two excuses drive me crazy!) I am not eating ice cream and big plates of pasta, I am just being sloppy with my food. I really believe we can be in denial and not even see it ourselves. Denial of being in denial. I have no excuses, but my struggles lie in the refining and certainty of my food plan.  I am a food addict. I will always be a food addict, in my opinion. I can not eat like the “normies” eat. I lie to myself about portions, and actually believe myself, also I have no on or off switch in my head to tell me what hunger and fullness feels like.on-off-switch

It takes an army of people and time to recover from any addiction. I talk a lot about my friends Sean Anderson and Coach Gerri Helms. They are 2 of the three solid foundations of my recover. The third is my friend Liz, who seems to know what I am thinking before I even say it. The funny thing is, and you won’t believe it, I have never meet any of these people in person. How I met them all started from an email I sent Sean on his blog The Daily Diary of a Winning Loser .  Sean brings me hope, because he has been successful at what I am trying to achieve losing over 250 pounds gaining half of it back, and now losing 300 and maintaining it for several years, without surgery. He is the message of hope, that God put in my life.  Gerri brings coaching, and wisdom, and the spiritual component. Liz brings love, prayer, and sisterhood. It is supernatural how God brought these people into my life and how we bless each other with wisdom and support and accountability. I have several face to face support people from my community as well. But these 3 are in my life day to day. I asked God to bring people in my life that will guide and support me on this journey, this is simply an answer to prayer.

It seems like I peal off one layer, and another one surfaces. I need to accept the fact that is is a lifetime on-going process. I am learning to ease it to it and surrender, but often my controlling spirit take over and I start to unravel. I fight the urge to retreat to isolation. For whatever reason, be it shame, embarrassment, laziness, anticipation or low self esteem, if I do not watch it, I can crawl back into isolation, where I don’t have to work on this recovery, disappear, and let my body and spirit rot.

When I am preparing my food, and I’m not watching portions, weighing or measuring my food, what happens is the food becomes an emotional barrier between me and God. It was suggested to me to say this prayer before a meal…

God please come between me and this food
So the food doesn’t come between me and you

A very simple prayer, and if you do not pay attention you can miss how profound this really is. But this is the essence of my addiction. putting God, between me and food, verses food between me and God.

I have had some extra time talking with my 3 suport people, making a plan to be extra accountable,

I am working very hard at turning around my certainty of recovery and it takes a constant awareness and being clear headed and mindful. My morning devotion have to be non-negotiable and never rushed. It is a solid part of my recover as well. This is a new awareness for me, I have also discovered that when I start to sink, I sink fast and deep into depression. And when I am not using food to stuff negative feelings, it can become magnified 100 fold!

I attended a funeral this weekend, one of my Mothers best friends, and the family members were my childhood friends. Since I have no living relatives, this is all I have. Some of the folks there,  I had not seen for 30+ years. This triggered some strong feelings, that I did not know what to do with. Sometimes we just feel, but have no idea what label to attach to it. You just feel and it feels raw. I felt guilty and shame for how I reacted to these emotions I would normally stuff down with food. I got anxious, and had big expirations as to how this weekend was going to be. I was a train wreck. Finally yesterday Sean reminded me of the saying “expectations (of others) are premeditated resentments”  It all fit! I was setting myself up to feel resentful, and I did.

It has been a twisted road back to wellness. I say “back to” but in reality, I was never there. This is a whole new way I am learning to think and live.  One I never expected. Even though I heard it over and over that the weight is only a symptom of the problem, I still struggle with that, believing when the weight is off, I will be normal and have more value. But my value is already established, God loves me as I am, and he is crazy about me! Imagine that? God loves us as we are, not as we should be, because we are never as we should be. ~Brennen Manning